Young students are creating libraries across Balochistan

A group of students has come together to make reading more accessible for the youth of Khuzdar District

By Farheen Abdullah

KARACHI: Books present a world of imagination, creativity and expression to their readers. Libraries become homes to thousands of stories and often a quiet escape from one’s otherwise chaotic life. Balochistan, sadly, lacks libraries to be able to cater to its youth. Recently, however, members of the local community took it upon themselves to build one room libraries across the Khuzdar District. The initiative was taken by a group of more than 40 students who formed the Wadh Students Library committee.

The Wadh Students Library itself was physically transformed by students from a place where drugs were consumed to a library. In order to make the space functional, they require donations in the form of books. The team is also on its way to transforming abandoned places across Wadh, Naal, Turbat and Quetta into reading rooms.

Soon, Balochistan Youth against Coronavirus (BYAC) led by Sikander Bizenjo and Banari Mengal showed support for the libraries. While BYAC majorly distributes ration amongst families, it recently donated around 500 books to Wadh Students Library. Most of these donations were collected through social media and word of mouth with Bizenjo posting regular updates on his twitter.

The co-founder of BYAC also uploaded the link to a google form where libraries in need of books can specify their details and benefit from the donations.

“Very recently a group of students reached out to me from Wadh asking if I could donate books to their library since I am from that area. Everything was at a halt during corona, so a group of students started working on this project to open a library and help the community in strengthening their knowledge. I decided to donate 100 books to the library. After speaking to Sikander, we realised this is a great initiative and could help many in need in many underdeveloped areas of Balochistan,” Mengal shared with Cutacut.

The cause gained even more attention after Paulo Coelho tweeted about it on Monday, and asked people to donate books to Balochistan.

“BYAC aims to help Baloch issues that don’t get highlighted in the media or support. We have several projects in mind that we plan to work in the future,” concluded Mengal. We all come from different political backgrounds, and it’s been a great journey since we have all kept that aside and are working towards improving the livelihood of the common Baloch man without any ulterior motive.

If we keep working with this sheer dedication and commitment, regardless of our tribal egos and political affiliations; Balochistan can become a progressive province. We hope to continue to donate books to several parts of Balochistan. We have already donated around 500 and plan to give more in the coming weeks.”

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